Loudoun County’s library system is getting a new breath of life. After years of planning, the new Sterling Library at 22330 S. Sterling Boulevard opened to the public on April 15.
“It takes a village to build a library,” Library Director Chang Liu said.
In 2014, Loudoun voters approved a referendum to relocate, renovate, expand and equip the Sterling Library. This project is part of the Sterling Public Facilities Master Plan, which also calls for the expansion of the Sterling Volunteer Fire and Rescue Station and the renovation and expansion of the Sterling Community Center into the former library space.
“When you see the inside of this library, it’s 40 years in the making since the opening of the original library,” Board of Trustees Chair Mark Miller said.
The new branch, located in the heart of Sterling, includes expanded space for library programs and community meetings, study rooms, reading and learning spaces for adults, teens and children and increased access to computers.
It also includes a “maker space” where children, teens and adults can develop 21st century skills, including a recording studio and 3D printers. An enhanced library collection will feature books and other materials for ESOL and Spanish speakers.
“Libraries are now where people come to gather,” Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said. “This is where some people who don’t have a computer can work on their resume. Libraries are important for the community, for community development and community cohesion.”
The new Sterling Library will have extended opening hours. It is the first county library branch to be open Friday and Saturday evenings until 9 p.m., it will also be open Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. The new library is nearly three times the size of the former facility, which was in operation since 1977.
Loudoun Arts Council is also raising money to install a mural by Joan Gardiner depicting the Sterling’s history, Supervisor Koran Saines (D-Sterling) said.
“This marks the beginning of something new,” Saines said. “Never let anyone tell you Sterling isn’t a great community. Yes, we are old but guess what, we’re the gateway of Loudoun County and Sterling is rising again.”